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EIM On Campus Profile: Michigan State University

August 14, 2019 by Jim Pivarnik, PhD, FACSM, Kristin Traskie, MPH, & Kerri Vasold

The Michigan State University Exercise is Medicine On Campus initiative is IMPACTFUL. Through the initiative we have expanded our student’s knowledge beyond the physical and we educate them about positive benefits of regular physical activity on mental and social health as well as academic success.  Furthermore, we have worked to debunk the misperception that exercise means running on a treadmill for hours. We encourage students and our community to experience all the wonderful physical activity opportunities that exist on our campus and beyond. Most importantly, we highlight the message that the best exercise is the one you enjoy doing. 

Our program is active on campus with events and programs such as the Annual Healthy Homecoming Walk, a physical activity mentoring program (ACTIVE Spartans) and a newly developed registered student organization.

The Annual Healthy Homecoming Walk is a nationwide walking competition versus other EIM-OC registered universities that occurs during EIM-OC month in October. This past fall, the walk had over 500 participants, who walked hundreds of laps throughout the day. We connect with area fitness and wellness businesses to sponsor the event and engage all members of the campus community by walking with them and discussing the importance and benefits of a physically active lifestyle.

The ACTIVE Spartans Program matches students, faculty and staff with physical activity mentors (PAMs) through an exercise prescription referral system via Student Health & Wellness and Employee Assistance Programs. The goal of the program is to improve participants’ well-being, with emphasis on physical, mental and social dimensions, by increasing participants’ physical activity through expansion of their knowledge, tools and support. PAMs are senior-level Kinesiology undergraduate students who then are able to gain hands-on experience in guiding others in the process of developing a sustainable physical activity program and incorporating it into their current lifestyle. This program was featured in the American College Health Association, American College Health and Wellness in Action Summer Issue, 2018, Getting Students Pumped Up About Working Out, Starting a Mentor-led Physical Activity Program that Leads to Student Well-Being.

Furthermore, this past Fall, the MSU EIM-OC Registered Student Organization (RSO) was formed. The goal of the RSO is to improve the well-being of the campus community through promotion and education of the importance of physical activity as a part of everyday life and daily campus culture. The group offers outreach, education, leadership and social opportunities for students. Over the past year the RSO has led and increased the amount of educational and outreach events on-campus such as finals week stress events held in residential halls on our campus.

EIM-OC has been embraced fully by the MSU Administrative leadership, Recreational Sports and Fitness Services, the Department of Kinesiology, and the Olin Health Center.  Collaborative efforts like ours can make EIM-OC a vibrant, thriving entity on a college campus. For more information on the MSU EIM-OC, contact Kristin Traskie at [email protected] . Follow the MSU EIM-OC on social media, Facebook @MichiganStateEIMOC , Instagram @msu_exerciseismedicine, and Twitter @MSU_EIMOC.

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Support for the Exercise is Medicine® Initiative is provided by:

Support for the Exercise is Medicine® Initiative is provided by:

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